Synergistic activity of oxaliplatin and 5-fluorouracil in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer with progressive disease while on or after 5- fluorouracil

F. DeBraud, E. Munzone, F. Nolè, T. De Pas, R. Biffi, S. Brienza, M. S. Aapro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


From February 1995 through October 1996, 25 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer showing a clinical resistance to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) entered this study. Thirteen received oxaliplatin alone and 12 received it in combination with 5-FU. Oxaliplatin was administered at 130 mg/m2 over a 2- hour infusion every 3 weeks, alone or added either to 5-FU as a continuous infusion at 200 mg/m2 to 300 mg/m2 (six patients) or to a 5-FU bolus, 375 mg/m2, plus leucovorin, 100 mg/m2, daily for 5 days every 3 weeks (6 patients). Eighty-six of 98 administered cycles were evaluable for toxicity (47 for oxaliplatin plus 5-FU and 39 for oxaliplatin alone). Hematologic toxicity was mild, occurring as grade 2 leukopenia in 23% of the cycles of 5- FU and oxaliplatin and in 5% of the cycles of oxaliplatin alone. The most common toxicity was neurologic (grade 1 to 2 in 60%-6% of the cycles of the combination, respectively, and 68%-10% of oxaliplatin given alone) as hand- foot paresthesia or hypersensitivity to cold. No grade 4 toxicity was reported and only three patients in the 5-FU group developed grade 3 diarrhea. Grade 2 nausea and vomiting occurred in 33% of the cycles when both drugs were given and in 15% when oxaliplatin was administered alone. The combination of oxaliplatin and 5-FU induced four partial remissions (33%; 95% confidence interval, 6%60%), whereas eight patients of the whole group had stable disease. No response occurred when oxaliplatin was administered as a single agent. The results of this study confirm the antitumor activity of oxaliplatin when added to 5-FU in patients who have metastatic colorectal cancer previously refractory to 5-FU. The possible therapeutic synergy with 5-FU was not accompanied by increased toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998



  • Metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Synergistic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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